April 2015

I had the privilege of attending the Arizona Chamber luncheon earlier this week to hear from Sen. John McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake, and it struck me how fortunate we are in Arizona to have two such principled men representing our state and our country.

By virtue of the fact that between the two of them they have at some point ticked off every group on both sides of the political spectrum and at a different point had most of those same groups agree with them, they must be doing something right.

Sen. Flake has taken the ball from former Sen. Jon Kyl on an issue absolutely critical to Arizona – water, and the planning and management it requires – and continues to move it forward so that we can be secure in having enough water for our future. Sen. Flake is also proving to be a statesman who exhibits uncommon (these days) common courtesy and doesn’t sink to the level of petty politicking so rampant in D.C., or among my three teenage boys.

The big reveal, of course, was that Sen. McCain announced he is running for another term as the senior senator from Arizona. He will continue to give our state an outsized presence in Washington. Sen. McCain’s position as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee is the perfect pulpit for a man committed to the safety and defense of our nation and who has the experience and knowledge to back it up.

On the manufacturing front, both men have proven interested and engaged in what can be done at a federal level to help businesses in Arizona on issues ranging from taxation to EPA overreach, with both deservedly earning recognition from the National Association of Manufacturers with the organization’s Manufacturing Legislative Excellence Award.

The hack job that was sequestration is another area of focus for our senators as it continues to affect Arizona disproportionately based on the amount of Department of Defense work that is performed in our state, affecting manufacturers large and small up and down the supply chain.

Most telling is how the senators’ respective staffs follow up and reach out when there is an issue. Staffs generally are reflective of the examples set by the person in charge, and by that measure, our senators are setting excellent examples. There is also a renewed level of outreach to the Arizona House delegation and their staffs, which can only help when trying to aid or promote our state.

To steal a line from Sen. McCain, “Barry Goldwater called Arizona ‘113,400 square miles of heaven that God cut out.’ And he was right.” If that is indeed the case, we need people of high caliber and character representing us, and in our two senators, I believe we have them.

 Steve Macias is the president of Pivot Manufacturing and the chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council

The Arizona Manufacturers Council within the Arizona Chamber is the state affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). For more on manufacturing and NAM, visit www.nam.org.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. For more information visit www.azchamber.com.